Mourinho says Man Utd players lack heart

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Evening Standard

Jose Mourinho confirmed he is ready to axe Manchester United’s stars after accusing his players of lacking heart and desire.

United’s pursuit of a top-four finish was dealt a fresh blow after being held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace.

Mourinho warned his players he’s ready to ring the changes after a lacklustre display, which saw jeers ring around Old Trafford at the final whistle.

The United manager claimed he would have to turn to players with more fight – even if it means losing the quality of his stars.

He didn’t name names – but the decision to replace Pogba with Alexis Sanchez after 68 minutes was telling.

“You must play with brain and also with heart and I think there was not enough heart,” said Mourinho. “The solution is that probably I have to make certain choices based on heart and then probably I will blame personally because I will think heart is not enough and am missing some quality.

“We didn’t have that intensity that in my opinion is basically related to your brain, with your heart.”

Mourinho has turned on his underperforming stars on several occasions this season – questioning their mentality after the draw with Wolves in September and suggesting they lost their dignity in defeat to West Ham the following week.

Now he’s warned them they risk elimination from the Champions League if they produce a similar display against Young Boys on Tuesday.

United can qualify for the knock out stages if they win at home and Valencia fail to beat Juventus – but Mourinho has voiced his concerns after believing his side had turned a corner since their turbulent start to the season.

He said: “If we play with the same philosophy against Young boys then we don’t win and have to go to Valencia and win there.

“There are games that are special games and not just one more – and this was a special game. It was the first of eight Premier League games until the end of December and a game we needed to win and it was not enough from the heart.

“You can improve. You can influence players – especially when they are open to it, when a player realises he has to give more and change his nature. When they are open, they change.”